tmnovello Member Posts: 7 Seeker
Third Anniversary Photogenic
edited October 17 in CS Org Conversations

Hey CS Community,

For 2021 goals, I'd like the CSM's to start gathering customer references. They will have a goal of 3 per quarter. Does anyone have an example of a referral process? Or am I over-engineering and just ask a customer and note in CRM??



  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments Photogenic
    edited December 2020

    @Tracy Novello Great idea. I found the best way to get referrals and references is to set it out at the very beginning of the relationship that if things go well, I might ask them for these. I always follow up with an email detailing our conversation about this possibility. I've managed to get far more references and referrals using this method then when I asked later on the process and they had no idea the ask was coming. 

  • Jordan Silverman
    Jordan Silverman Member, Success Network Members Posts: 103 Expert
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Likes Photogenic
    edited December 2020

    @Tracy Novello we try to get referrals two ways:

    1) Proactive from our champions and main points of contact

    a) Have a note about it in our email signature --> Kind of like how recruiters do

    b) Talk about it post trainings to try and proactively get

    2) Reactive from users who we do not interact with daily

    - Lots of people use our Saas within our clients that do not talk with us

    - These people have a Referral system through an application called Referral Rock

    Each quarter we have a fun competition too where whichever CSM gets the most referrals gets $1,500. This amount of course can vary depending on ACV and current acquisition costs.

  • Kelly Moertle
    Kelly Moertle Member Posts: 8 Seeker
    First Anniversary
    edited December 2020

    One approach that has always felt very authentic for me is after having a discussion with my customer about what's working well, where the challenges are, how we can better support them, etc  (normally part of a QBR or annual review at a minimum) and when the feedback has been positive and there's value in asking for the reference, I just make the ask. Clients who are happy and seeing value are typically happy to be a reference. 

    Some companies offer benefits for customers providing references. For example you will receive x number of points for a phone reference, 2x for a case study, 5x for a site visit, etc. points can be traded in towards consulting dollars, user conference passes, etc. It helps compensate customers for their time. It's not about buying the reference. 

  • Matt Myszkowski
    Matt Myszkowski Member Posts: 143 Expert
    100 Comments Second Anniversary Photogenic
    edited January 2021
    Hey @Tracy Novello

    I am looking at this currently.

    One very natural way for me seems to follow the voice of customer program you may (or may not) have in place. I am currently scoping mine, but my thinking is currently if you have "X" number of positive responses to our survey at various touchpoints this activates a proactive, automated outreach. This outreach will say something like "You have continuously been wowed by the expereince you get from us here at Cision, how would you feel about making it more official?".......or something like that!

    This then explains what it looks like and the CSM would pick it up from here. Just brainstorming at the moment but it feels natural following on from the VoC piece.
  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments Photogenic
    edited January 2021
    Great idea @Matt Myszkowski. They've already shown interest a) by filling out the survey and b) by leaving good responses.